April 22nd, 2007


Happy Earthday To You...

And Many Happy Returned Ecosystems To You, Too

Dateline: Sunday 22 April 2007 -- It's Earthday. I didn't buy you a card. That's because buying a card would be buying into a senseless industry based on the destruction of trees, the inefficient usage of our scarce renewable resources, violent polluting of the environment in a misguided effort to produce bleached white and vibrant color dyed papers, and increasing the sappiness of the world by employing countless poets to produced greeting card riffs. You're welcome.

7 3 5 1 2 8 9 4 6

I guess this is the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). An article in today's Grand Rapids Press pointed out that in his last year, he invented an 81-number puzzle which we now know as Sudoku. Huh. And that for something like the last ten years of his life, he was blind. So... he invented Sudoku in the dark?

Today's Sudoku, in the same Sunday paper, on a difficulty scale of 1 to 4 was labeled a Tough. (grin) Straight logic only took me so far before I had nowhere else to go. So I randomly selected between two possible values on one square... and eventually ended in an impossibility. So I took the second value... and after a while couldn't go any further. Selected a second random choice... and later had to select a third random choice. Whew. Thankfully this solved the puzzle.

Looking at my piece of paper -- we put the puzzle from the newspaper on our HP 3-in-1 scanner/copier/printer and make two copies enlarged to 150% so that (a) both Mrs. Dr. Phil and I can share in the torture/fun, (b) be able to put notes in the blank squares and (c) write on a better grade of paper than the newsprint (don't tell that blowhard eco-guy up at the top of this posting...) (double-faced-grin) -- I can't imagine doing these solely in my head in the dark.

Euler was nuts.

In Other Local News

President Bush made forays into America's Heartland on Thursday (Ohio) and Friday (West Michigan) to give speeches at schools. I'm sure he got a warm reception -- they only let Yes People who've drunk the administration's kool-aid attend these things -- but that's neither the big local news nor what this part of the blog entry is about.

First, WOOD-AM radio's Rick & Scott Show came under Secret Service scrutiny, apparently, after one of the guys on Thursday made a comment that after the horror show at Virginia Tech, one has to consider the possibility that some copycat nutcase would decide to have his fifteen minutes of fame by taking pot shots at the President. This wasn't some call to shoot at the President -- rather this is something that I always worry about, ever since at the young age of five in November 1963, that deranged people would even THINK of trying to shoot at a sitting American President whenever he/she should be on tour. I don't care what you think of the person in the Oval Office, we live in a democracy of laws and a Constitution and there are procedures for changing Presidents and no one has the right to "take matters in their own hand." That way lies madness.

And this wasn't just some idle chatter about copycats, either. In the wake of Virginia Tech, some idiot(s) sent e-mails about Kalamazoo Valley Community College that the authorities deemed a "credible threat" and KVCC shut down for the rest of the week. Folks, it's just a few miles from Western Michigan University to the main campus of KVCC and just down the road apiece from Grand Rapids -- these kinds of things don't only happen "elsewhere", they can directly impact locally. It probably would've been best for the on-air comments on the radio not to be voiced in today's security environment, but the comments on the Rick & Scott Show no doubt echo the thoughts that a lot of people have, concerning any Presidential visit.

Second, the BIG local news here in Grand Rapids regarding President Bush's visit was "Would he or wouldn't he?" As in, would Bush drive to downtown Grand Rapids and pay his respects at the grave of former President Gerald R. Ford. He did, but the plan wasn't broadcast ahead of time.

Funniest damn piece of news footage I saw this week showed a phalanx of reporters and photographers, burdened with tons of gear with large lenses, running around a fence and flowing towards the play where they would be allowed to record the Presidential visit. It looked not so much like people, as that magical flow you get watching the peloton go around corners during the Tour de France...

Dr. Phil
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